Bol.com is building a new site for the 2007 Holiday season and fully embraces web 2.0 (recommendations, allowing users to build user groups focusing on themes, writers etc.).
Amazon.com is headed for a 23.6% sales growth over 2006. Its international sales, which it doesn't break down on a country-by-country basis, is pretty stable around the mid-to-high 20s and will contribute about $4.8bn to total 2006 sales of $10.5bn. Amazon has international sites in Canada, the UK, Germany, Japan, France and China.
Why would bol.com be interesting to Amazon?
- First, bol.com is doing very well. It would add to Amazon's overall growth, even though it is small. Including bol.com on a pro forma basis would enhance Amazon's 2006 sales growth to 23.9% from the current estimate of 23.6%. A nice addition.
- Second, eBay's acquisition of local competitor Marktplaats.nl shows that the Netherlands is an interesting market. Bol.com would add infrastructure and local presence. Right now, Dutch shoppers mostly go to the large international sites (including Marktplaats/eBay), or to Amazon.de/-co.uk at best.
- Third, Amazon would not (immediately) have to rebrand the site, which would risk alienating users. Amazon's launch of Endless.com suggests it is ready for a multi-brand strategy.